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Prelims Syllabus : Polity & Governance Mains Syllabus : Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations

Why in News:

  • The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea by 21 Opposition parties to review its judgment rejecting 50% random physical verification of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) using Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).

Details

  • On April 8, a Bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had directed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to increase physical counting of VVPAT slips to five random EVMs in each Assembly segment/constituency.

Fool-proof’ polls

  • Its April verdict, the court had assured the petitioners, would ensure a ‘fool-proof’ Lok Sabha polls 2019.
  • The Opposition had found the Supreme Court’s April 8 verdict a far shot from what it
  • wanted — VVPAT verification in 50% or 125 polling booths in each constituency.
  • The physical scrutiny of slips in five EVMs has increased the VVPAT verification percentage from .44% to less than 2%.

VVPAT

  • Voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) is a device which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip appears on a small window for seven seconds and then drops in a box. The voter cannot take it home. VVPAT displays
  • candidate’s serial number. Name of the candidate and Corresponding symbol for whom the vote has been cast.

Advantages in VVPATs:

  • Enables to verify vote: Instant feedback to voter that vote polled has been allocated to the intended candidate.
  • Enables authorities to count the votes manually if there is a dispute in the electronically polled votes.
  • Operates under a Direct Recording Election system (DRE) which detects fraud and existent malfunctions.
  • Will ensure greater transparency in voting process. Gives both the voters and political parties an assurance.

M3 EVMs

  • M3 EVMs are the third generation EVMs. The M3 EVMs can keep data of 384
  • candidates. M3 EVMS also has added features like Tamper Detection and Self Diagnostics. The tamper detection feature makes an EVM inoperative the moment anyone tries to open the machine. The Self diagnostic feature checks the EVM fully every time it is switched on. Any change in its hardware or software will be detected.
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